I manage the projects ongoing in the Ojo lab, my current focuses are around therapeutic discovery for infectious diseases such as Giardia and some STIs. For Giardia I generally work on screening novel compounds with various scaffolds at different concentrations both in vitro and in vivo. I also perform and help design safety tests for compounds of interest and efficacy studies.
I am in charge of supervising undergraduate students and facilitating daily tasks related to all projects, including general lab-keep up, and organization. One of the projects I collectively work on with students is to build a library of potential targets used for drug therapies.
I am currently studying a specific protein target. It has been hypothesized that this molecular target is essential for maintaining osmotic balance in Giardia cells and could be explored for a drug development program. To confirm this hypothesis, I am engineering mutant strains for further testing to further understand functional biology. From this strain I hope to also get a recombinant enzyme that would be crucial in understanding the mechanisms of drug action.
Another project I am working on is in collaboration with the Wood lab at HMC, studying the STI called Mycoplasma genitalium. My role in this project is expressing and purifying WT and mutant alleles of MG342 for soluble protein. Our goal is to conduct these biochemical studies on recombinant proteins with MG342 mutations so that we can confirm the protein- drug interactions of nitroimidazoles.
Other projects I work on include assisting in the preliminary studies of T. vaginalis, animal work, and writing scientific articles. I specialize primarily in protein purifications, thermal shift assays, MIC tests, and cytotoxicity. I do plan to work on cytotoxicity more closely to screen compounds against mammalian cells and test for toxicity of compounds prior to using them against parasites.